Open Book Management

Open Book Management: Now is the Time!

By Melanie Reid Co-ops continue to face an increasingly tough marketplace. Competition for employees is as tough as it is for food dollars. One strategy for attracting and retaining talented and passionate staff members is to build a culture of strong employee engagement. Open Book Management (OBM) has the potential to [...]

Cooperative Ends, Impact, and Telling the Story

An individual member-owner or customer or vendor could probably describe how the co-op impacts their life: This is where I get the food that feeds my family. Or, I see all my friends here. Or, this is the center of my community. Or, I make my living by selling my [...]

Staff Engagement Key to Success

Berkshire Co-op Market Great Barrington, MA Year founded:  1981 Membership investment:  $150 Number of members:  3,000 Number of staff:  60 Retail square feet:  4,500 Daniel Esko has been in the role of general manager at Berkshire Co-op Market in Great Barrington, MA for exactly a year.  Even though he been [...]

POP Fosters Strong Relationships to Drive Growth of Co-ops

Many cooperatives have built their reputations on the strong connection that they have with people—their staff, owners and customers.  This special relationship is one of most attractive features of cooperation, but just because that may be true doesn’t mean that it can’t be improved or isn’t ever at risk.  Especially [...]

Results-Oriented Communication Systems in the Workplace

Good communication systems are a real differentiator in the workplace whether the message being delivered is praise or unfavorable feedback.  Good communication systems can make the difference between individuals feeling satisfied or disgruntled—no matter what is being said.  It can close the gap between an organization competently meeting a challenge [...]

Case Study: Open Book Management Changes Co-op Culture

Mississippi Market St. Paul, MN Year founded:  1979 Equity investment:  $90 Number of members:  15,500 Number of employees:  210 Retail locations:  Selby Ave., West 7th, and Dayton’s Bluff opening Sept. 2015 It started with the results of an employee satisfaction survey.  In 2012, Mississippi Market’s management learned some staff questioned [...]

Engaging Employees in Open Book Management

By Helena O'Connor 169 Nov-Dec 2013 A few staff members crowded the back of the small room. Latecomers straggled in until most chairs were full. A huge white board with a crosshatch of lines and columns, numbers and spaces stood at the front. The general manager called everyone to order. [...]

Bringing Open Book Management to Life at Just Food Co-op

By Melanie Reid 169 Nov-Dec 2013 Justice and Just Food Co-op in Northfield, Minn., opened its doors in 2004. Once the co-op had successfully navigated the initial challenges that every startup faces and began to experience stable finances and sales growth, management felt it was time to engage the staff [...]

Open Book Management: Emerging lessons in the food co-op world

By Jeanie Wells 168 September-October 2013 Has your co-op considered Open Book Management? Chances are that even if you haven’t implemented it but have attended a food co-op conference in the past three years, you have heard talk about Open Book Management. That’s because it has been slowly but steadily [...]